How to Replace a Constant Velocity (C.V.) Boot

freed axle

The C.V boot on Austin’s Sentra tore and he got quoted about three hundred buck-a-roos to replace it.  As I am the mechanic of the family that means I get to do it in my garage for the price of beer.  It’s a fair trade…

Estimated Time: Two Beers (about 1 hour)

Skill Level: Some mechanical aptitude and tools will definitely help.

Must have tools

1.  Crack open a beer.

2. Raise the front of the vehicle using a jack and support the vehicle with jack stands.

2.  Remove the appropriate wheel.  The driver side outer boot was torn so that was the side of the car we took the wheel off of.

3.  Remove the cotter pin from the axle nut.

4.  Remove the cotter pin for the lower ball joint securing the ball joint nut in place.  Take a swig of beer.  The beer that night was Four Peaks Brewery’s Kiltlifter.  Mmmm good.

5.  Remove the axle nut.  This nut is usually on the axle tight.  I have air tools and used a half inch impact wrench with a 32mm deep socket.

6.  Remove the lower ball joint nut using a 19mm wrench.  Take another swig of beer.

7. Take a hammer and knock the lower part of the steering knuckle the ball joint is in.  The goal is to jar the ball joint loose.  Hopefully you haven’t had too many beers at this point and you can hit the knuckle not the lower control arm.

ball-joint-removal

8. Take a pry-bar and move the lower control arm out of the steering knuckle.  Slide the axle out of the hub.

9. Remove the old C.V. boot using a pair of side cutters.  Using a dead blow hammer knock the stub axle off of the end of the axle shaft.  The stub axle might not come off of the axle shaft and you may need to remove the entire axle from the transmission and place it into a vice to remove the stub axle.  Don’t forget to check your transmission after your done with the repair if you remove the axle from the transmission.

10.  Clean the old grease out of the C.V. joint on the stub axle.  Twist the grease package and clip the end of it.  Force the grease into the center of the C.V. joint until grease moves around the ball bearings in the joint. You should still have some grease remaining.  NOTE: The C.V. boot kit contains a new snap ring.  I don’t recommend replacing it on the axle because it make the axle difficult to reinstall onto the C.V. joint.

Grease the C.V. Joint

11. Slide the new C.V. boot onto the axle with the new clamp. Finish off your beer.

12. Install the stub axle onto the axle with the dead blow hammer.  Make sure the joint is installed all the way.

13. Install the remaining grease into the inside of the C.V. boot and slide the boot over the stub axle.  Get a new beer and take a drink.

14. Crimp the boot clamp tight.  I carefully used a pair of side cutters but there is a special tool you can buy that is designed for these style clamps. Take two swigs on your beer.

Crimp the Boot Clamp

15.  Reinstall the axle into the hub and the ball joint into the steering knuckle.

16. Tighten the axle nut to the manufacturer torque specification.

17. Tighten the lower ball joint nut to the manufacturer torque specification.

18. Install NEW cotter pins into the axle shaft and lower ball joint. Finish off the second beer.

19. Reinstall the wheel, and torque the lug nuts to the manufacturers torque specifications.  Lower the vehicle and let your brother-in-law test drive it for you since you have had two beers now.  The pictures below are all in order of the steps if you need something to reference.

These are guidelines on how to perform a repair and by no means am I or this site responsible for your mistakes on your vehicle or anyone who uses these instructions on for repair on another vehicle other than their own.  If you have question refer to a repair manual or if you don’t think you have the correct tool or are capable of doing the repair then don’t, take your vehicle to a repair shop.  I don’t condone drinking and driving, either.


5 comments ↓

#1 Brian on 01.29.09 at 3:30 pm

Gotta love instructions that start with “1. Crack open a beer.”!

#2 Colin Devroe on 02.12.09 at 10:03 pm

Sorry, never made it past step 1.

#3 Allen on 02.19.09 at 12:00 pm

Lol. You should probably take your car to a shop and sit at a bar while you wait then.

#4 Dan on 07.06.09 at 12:59 am

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#5 Nick on 04.29.11 at 10:15 am

NOTE: The C.V. boot kit contains a new snap ring. I don’t recommend replacing it on the axle because it make the axle difficult to reinstall onto the C.V. joint. –

Hi – Thanks for the tips here …….I didn’t replace the clip as it was too hard to get on as mentioned …. it this safe ??

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